Germanus (or German) was born in Brittany in about 410 and later went to Ireland, becoming a disciple of Patrick (see March 17th). From the age of thirty he lived for a time at the monastery founded by Illtyd (see November 6th) in South Wales, before returning to Ireland where, in 466,  Patrick ordained him bishop and sent him to the Isle of Man. The ‘Chronicles of Mann and the Isles’, written between the 12th and 14th centuries in Rushen Abbey on the island, mention him as a disciple of Patrick and say that he established his seat on St. Patrick’s Isle at Peel on the west coast. From here Germanus and his team spread the Christian message among the local population.
It has been suggested that the name Germanus is actually a later corruption of the British name Coemanus, who is known to have been at work in the island at this time. He was the son of a British prince and a Pictish woman from Ulster. Germanus’ name in the Manx Gaelic language is Carmane. The Manx parish of German is named after him, and the island’s cathedral, dedicated to German, was originally built on St. Patrick’s Isle. It became impossible to maintain economically and in the 20th century another church near the centre of Peel was reconsecrated as St. German’s Cathedral. It is also significant that the later Norse settlers, by now converted to Christianity, chose St. John’s, close to the centre of the island, for their parliament field, in the parish of German.
Lord of all nations, in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, slave nor free, civilised nor barbarian, show us how to live out Your truth that all people are equal in Your sight. As we look for Your presence within each person whom we meet, may we show Your love and goodness to all. Amen.